Back in January, I set a word for my year. An intention, of sorts. A focus, a guiding force.
I picked clarity, and little did I know how much it would come to shape and affect all areas of my life... but I guess that's the point?
I told my counselor about this word once. And, like he does, he gave me homework to do before our next session-- to imagine myself months down the road (at the end of 2017, say) looking back, and then to write what signs would show me clarity was happening or had happened. It was harder than I expected. I realized when I first wrote about clarity, and then when I wrote an update three months into the year, I was focusing on the hopes and desires and vision casting, and less on the particulars of what it would ACTUALLY look like and how it would tangibly show up in my life.
So, I started actually thinking more about clarity. I got serious about what it would mean for me in my life. I wrote a whole list, and promptly forgot about it in the drafts of my blog. And now, as the end of the year is in sight, I'm revisiting it and wanted to share here.
Because really? I don't think this journey stops when December 31 rolls around. I think seeking clarity is ongoing, never-ending.
Here's what clarity would look like to me (I think):
- Healthy family boundaries
- No relationships or friendships because of "should"
- Consistency in counseling
- Sharing about my journey with trusted people
- Stronger friendships with key people
- Doing things that work for me (hot yoga, walks, hiking, etc.)
- Healthy risks being taken
- Not spending money unnecessarily
- Sticking to my budget while saving and paying off debt
- Plugged into church in a way that works for me
- Less projects and "yes" obligations
- Knowing how to use my words in the moment, and communicating clearly, rationally, openly
- Reading the Word daily
- Actually praying intentionally
- Simple, sustainable rhythms
- Processing feelings and emotions instead of bottling them up
- More joy, more fun, more whimsy
- Less social media
- Less spending
- Less clutter (in the real and the abstract)
- More nature
- More movement
- More connection
- Less of the mess, more of what matters
Even in just the few months since I first wrote out that list, I've seen progress happen. Sure, there have been times I've taken steps forward (like paying off half of the debt I owe to my grandparents) and then taken steps back (needing to borrow more money because I got ambitious with credit card payments). I fell behind on my Bible reading, but I've caught back up now. I hardly used my hiking boots this summer, but I did go to 30 hot yoga classes on one month and fall in love with a new kind of workout. I've gotten much better about using my words to communicate my emotions to others instead of expecting people to read my mind (and I think my boyfriend appreciates that more than anyone!).
I'm glad I wrote this list, even if I didn't share it right away.
It's good to look at it now and reflect on how far I've come while still keeping these things in mind as I move forward.
I'm not sure yet what my 2018 word will be, but this year, this focus on clarity, has been deeply meaningful and helpful and good. I'm grateful for that.